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  1. This is how you do a nice gentle push and pull if you have to. It all makes sense that Woo-yeon would be angsting over this. The drama continues to go from strength to strength creating anticipation and a hankering for more. It does nothing new of course but the execution is subtly superb. Hits all the right notes. Woo-yeon is such a sweetheart that it's impossible to resist his charms. Ugh... that smile... it is my undoing every single time. Dam is right. If he's trying to keep his distance, he is doing a terrible job of it. Because he likes her so much and doesn't want to hurt her, everything he does just ends up making her fall for him even more. His protective instincts come alive with her and things don't go his way. Their interactions are just the sweetest thing. The dialogue is fantastic. I love the way she's testing him, sounding him out. My teeth and my heart aches. Especially for Dam who hasn't the faintest idea of what's really happening. I see his dilemma but I feel for her as she gropes around in the dark. Even without the skinship the chemistry is palpable. The well-intentioned but misguided blind date didn't work out but the walk around the museum just had my nerd radar sounding off. That was the real date of course. Two souls who like each other doing something ordinary. And yet it's an extraordinary moment. An out of hours saunter made by a gumiho and a uni student. Ugh... the smiles... Jang Ki-yong is too good looking for the health of any female whose not completely made of stone. Mum herself makes an appearance finally. Also another delightful figure who subverts the stereotype of the K drama helicopter parent. And she approves! Now, that's a surprise. She's more like the mother in Run On who leaves her kids to take care of themselves. I adore Kang Ha-na as always but I hope to see her role expanded. She seems like an airhead on some level and yet there are moments where her powers of perception are penetrating. Well, she's been flirting for 700 years more or less. For me the episodes just fly by. The flashback to Joseon when Woo-yeon was last deeply in love with someone was heartbreaking. I like the tension that he feels wanting her to stay by his side while fearing what the marble will do to her in the long run. Perhaps things will be different this time because it's the last marble. One can only hope.
  2. For the most part I liked the ending and it was a fitting one that took its time to tie up all the loose ends. As far as K drama endings go, it's a good one. My only criticism is that they took such a long time to get to this point. As I've said before, Do Hak-sung's presence wasn't one that I would have chosen to be this protracted. Compared to the other aspects of the show, it was the most cliched. The show was always at its best when the team was engaged in different exorcisms which I missed. It's true they tried to fill that gap by taking it closer to home but I felt less interested (strangely enough) in all that. That part of the show has been done to death (no pun intended) the last 2 years. From Chocolate to Mystic Pop-up Bar to Move to Heaven. I understand why they prolonged mother's departure -- storytelling wise Ji-a had to work out the reason why mother couldn't go and then finally let go. But I continue to maintain that it took too long to get there. I'm also not exactly a fan of the "don't tell her what happened to protect her" scenario. All in all this was a good, fun watch for me. I think if they had ramped up the Ji-a and In-beom dynamic, it would have been even better. I don't think that everything has to have a romance but this one was crying out for one. There are certainly hints of what could be and In-beom's good-natured personality, his ability to take Ji-a as she is, is very pleasing always. He is such a sweet guy and I felt that he would be happy to take things further and yet he's satisfied with waiting around just being her off-sider. Even Hwa-jung can finally see that he's good for her and that there are sparks there. Was I disappointed... maybe a little because the two had good chemistry but the show chose in the end to make this about Ji-a and Mum rather than Ji-a and In-beom. I don't know and I can't say for certain but I wonder if this is why the show didn't capture large swathes of audience's imagination. Tropes aside, it's a well-written show and while it maintained its existing audience for the most part, it never soared. In the end this was a Jang Na-ra vehicle and while she was terrific in the lead role, it was probably left to her to do all the heavy lifting especially in the final act. I'm all for genuinely strong female leads even ones that are deeply flawed but I felt that the other characters were largely dancing to her tune.
  3. Only if they can cobble together a good enough script. I heard that there are no plans for a S2 but who knows really. The ratings were decent for cable. I'm just wondering if they burnt their bridges by having that final scene... unless they start with an entirely new cohort of students.
  4. Surprise, surprise... I am enjoying this and loving the dynamic between the leads. Hye-ri is adorable and Jang Ki-yong is hot stuff. Isn't amazing what pain and heartache can be averted when couples communicate honestly and thoughtfully? Wow, what a brilliant notion. K drama land should do it more often. I could get used to it... and like it.
  5. While I appreciated what they were trying to do in the finale, I thought they were trying to cram quite a lot in all at once. I'm not sure why they didn't think or ask to split the episode up. (Or maybe they did) There was a lot going on and it did feel a bit crowded. Even Kang Dan manage to make an appearance at the 11 hour. That said, I enjoyed the "life goes on" rhythm underlying much of the episode. Nabbing Assemblyman Ko wasn't the end of it. Which makes good sense in this context. I liked everything that I saw but I'm not sure if certain scenes were necessary although it's a relief that the Kangs are going for counselling because that family dynamic is in dire need of intervention. I guess I don't have a problem with the editing that some viewers do. I generally manage to work out what's what in the juggling act of multiple arcs and cases. It's baffling though what the show chose to tie up and what it chose to leave open. Especially if there's no S2 in the pipeline. I probably need time to chew over the details, do a rewatch and think about how all the pieces of the puzzle fit. What was pleasing to see is the evolution of Kang Sol A into someone who's beginning to think more and more like a lawyer. I was always rooting for her as the underdog who gave her all. From where she was at the start to where she ends up in the finale, she's grown so much, commanding the respect of her study mates. Her snores coming hot at the heels of everybody else throwing in their favourite quote was chuckle-worthy. Poor thing, she barely slept during the Mock Trial tournament. I don't think I had ever seen Ryu Hye-young in anything before (I only watched 4 eps of Reply 88 with FF button) but she was impressive particularly as Kang Dan. She's quite adorable and it isn't surprising everybody likes her. She even convinced Yang "I don't eat with students" Jong-hoon to buy her jajangmyeon. As someone who was barracking for a Sol A - Joon-hwi endgame, I'm reasonably happy with what we were given at the end. Everything is open to personal interpretation of course but I can't see them being with other people now and forever. They like each other too much and they work together so well. What they have is special which ever way you look at it. I am wondering like most people what the final time jump was meant to achieve apart from a SolHwi nod perhaps. Are they saying that Joon-hwi and Sol A are now doing a bit teaching with Yangcrates giving the new cohort the benefit of their law school experience? I am supposing God forbid if Yangcrates ever had favourites, these two would be it. The bond and the trust that they share was/is a formidable combination and criminals beware.
  6. There's no denying that Yangcrates is a really good teacher but I don't think it's because he is intelligent (which he so obviously is) but because he is a brilliant communicator honed in the fiery furnace of lecture theatres. He knows how to ask the right kinds of questions to engage the students and boil things down to its essence. And that is certainly the case with anyone who uses the socratic method for teaching. It's an inductive method of instruction and learning which really helps with critical thinking and problem solving. It's discovery learning rather than a top down prescriptive approach. I think it helps with retention. Those who have to communicate ideas and abstract concepts all the time will learn over time how to best explain things using illustrations and storytelling. He's definitely thought a lot about how best to be efficient in his explanations. Plus his jig-saw puzzling tells me that he's a visually oriented guy. Moreover, he has to compete with technology and all the distractions that come with teaching in the 21st century so he has to be deliberate about every single thing he does in the classroom -- whether he picks Sol A or Ye-seul or when he acts like a tyrant, it is calculated to keep the entire class on their feet. @Chocolate For me I'm rooting for Sol A because it is so clear that Joon-hwi ls into her and the show practically sledgehammers that home. I think it's the right angle to take for the story because they are both impassioned about justice in a way Sol B isn't and can't be. She's a genius at his level sure enough but she's a walking automaton and doesn't ring his bell I imagine. Plus there's the whole plagiarism issue that Yang Jong-hoon is rightly concerned about because it speaks to character. I don't usually care about romance in these sorts of shows but this one is I think very well done.
  7. I am so glad that I waited to binge-watch this but now I'm left hanging... with one episode to go. But it's okay Episode 15 was pretty good and seeing the cops traipsing through Assemblyman Ko's office with collection boxes was triumph itself. Yes, I'm sure he will try to weasel his way out of it as one expects of a strong adversary but at the very least taking him down for fake internet comments will be a considerable dent in his armour. He's a pro at manipulating public opinion so it's a crucial strike to weaken his chokehold plus he has got his own machinery working to ensure things go in his favour. Overall it's a really gripping crime show. The first half was more like an Agatha Christie-Murder on the Orient Express style whodunit peppered with lessons from the law. The second half has echoes of Beyond Evil and Stranger S1 to it. Especially Stranger. There's much more of cat and mouse game going on between the side of right and those who have aligned themselves with the kingpin. I'm really impressed with the Yang Jong-hoon character (the actor is great of course and his vocal delivery is to die for) in terms of him being a teacher, a lawyer and a crusader. All aspects of his personality are wonderfully integrated into the bigger storyline. As someone who has a background in education, I am in awe of how he's written. I'm a huge fan of the Socratic method myself but it's much more than that for Yang Jong-hoon. Teaching is life itself. Every moment can be a teaching moment. All of life is a classroom and we're all truly lifelong learners as seen for instance in Ye-seul's trial where the master himself explains "reasonable doubt" to the jury. On hindsight, (and I'm aiming for a rewatch) I am absolutely fascinated by his pedagogy... how he mentors and instructs every member of that study group in accordance to their ability and personality. For that alone, he is a great teacher. I will go away and contemplate on that and write more at another time. There's no doubting his mental acuity but at the heart of Yang Jong-hoon is a crusader and he wants to save as many people as he can but they have to learn to save themselves first. Like a good Socratic instructor, he wants them to find the answers for themselves not just to pass exams but to save themselves. Professor Kim is amazing too. A really finely tuned character with the right balance of cunning, intelligence and kindness. I wish more older female characters were written in that vein. What a shrewd operator. I cannot explain why except to say I love a good slow-burn but I am rooting so hard for Joon-hwi and Sol A. There has to be some kind of acknowledgement of the fact at the end... or otherwise... it's fanfic time again. Dang! The show gave us so many hints and moments between them that it's impossible to unsee what we've seen. And it's been a terribly long time that I badly want a romance to happen in a crime show. I feel almost the same with Sell Your Haunted House. It's as if the subtle build-up over time is far more tantalizing than when a couple kisses at Episode 5 or 8. Again, I hasten to add that I am fanatically fond of these kinds of partners-in-crime romances especially if the male lead likes the female lead first and he's the one doing all of the heavy-lifting. Sol A mightn't be academic but she's quite savvy like street smart and... sassy. I think that's what Yangcrates saw in her immediately and I imagine it's what Joon-hwi sees in her as well. Great fan edit...
  8. I might be rewatching this too because the husband and No. 2 wants to watch it all again. But, I've already seen it 3 times back to back, not to mention certain episodes multiple times. @stroppyse Why did you have to mention Ahn Chi-hong? I was commiserating with No. 2 a few days ago that he won't be coming back. She was shocked that he won't be coming back. Like mother, like daughter.
  9. Good episode. I'm just relieved that we finally got the facts behind mother's death once and for all. An explanation was long overdue and to be frank it's one of my least favourite part of the show. Yay also for not much Do Hak-sung. It's obvious that the show has used this incident to continue the push and pull between the leads for a while now. I understand the rationale for keeping it from her when she was younger but... anyway. There's never a good time for these kinds of truth telling. And in hindsight, it's part of the problem why Hong Mi-jin is hanging on and unable to move on to the other side. The upside of that of course is that she was able to establish (after a bumpy start) a nice working relationship with In-beom up to now who is her true other half. If she had known his indirect involvement in her mother's death sooner, well, he wouldn't have been able to get past the front door. The show deserves much credit for explaining everything reasonably well. It's clear why Oh Sung-sik had no memory of what transpired after he was rendered unconscious. He was also the cause of the egg ghost possessing In-beom it seems. Poor In-beom, one minute it goes well for him and the next he has to run around to find out what it is he's done now to upset the lady. He's a super sweet kid and considering what he's had to go through in his childhood, he came out of all that relatively unscathed. Yeah, he hustled for a bit but he finally found an anchor and direction in his association with Ji-ah. It's a terrible shared past for the leads indeed but the show is signalling to Ji-ah that it's time for her to let go. Not knowing obviously didn't help but then knowing put her into another dark place which leads to more isolation and desolation. This is always the problem of the blame game... how far can you go? That night was a perfect storm of events coming together leading to Hong Mi-jin's ultimate sacrifice. It was her choice to make as much as it was Oh Sung-sik's to set fire to that neighbourhood and want to protect his nephew from being stabbed. Blame is a natural human reaction to tragedy senseless or otherwise but if you don't learn the right lessons from the past, it's like falling in a deep dark pit and not letting anyone reach out and pull you out. Life is meant to be lived taking the right lessons from the past not in a state of perpetual regret/ angst. Despite the what I deem unnecessary push and pull between the leads, I'm still barracking for them to be more than colleagues at the end of this seemingly long tunnel.
  10. They might do an unexpected early dump. C drama industry is such a disorganized fiasco. I have no doubt that this firefighter show will be crammed full of schmaltzy propaganda. As long as it's entertaining... I don't think I can bring myself to watch that xianxia one with Dilraba. I don't have a thing for abs or buffed up arms... but I like seeing disaster situations... I'm weird like that.
  11. How many Ren Jialun dramas are there going to be this year? I like the look of this one more than the others.
  12. @abs-oluteMI actually find the romance quite delightful. I can relate a little because I have nerdy tendencies myself and I'm married to a nerd. This is the kind of pairing I enjoy the most. Two people with complementary skill sets, smart, good at their jobs. Chu Chu in particular is very practically minded. She really doesn't have a single romantic bone in her body and it works for this coupling. The push and pull is virtually non-existent because they're both pragmatic to the core. That's why she never feels used or abused. The superstitions surrounding the dead are so ingrained in that culture that even coroners are perceived as some kind of taboo. This seems to be a thread all throughout. I wrote a kind of final review which I don't recommend reading until you're done with the show. It's full of spoilers from Episodes 31-36.
  13. LOL . I guess I must be the only one here who liked 13 and 14. 14 helped me understand what the PD was going for in this arc. I'm not convinced that the change of writer caused this change of direction, it feels to me that the PD always wanted Baek Sung-mi to turn foe on them and for the Rainbow taxi crew to question the validity of their mission. Ultimately the buck stops with the PD and it's his call to move in the direction that he always wanted to. Otherwise there was no need for the prosecutor's office. Baek Sung-mi was a formidable foe not just because she was an awful human being but because she knew Director Jang quite well. She'd even been to his place previously and saved his life when Cho Do-cheol escaped. They were allies at some point so her betrayal and ability to turn tables on Dir Jang was always much easier to achieve. The Baek Sung-mi arc probably served a two-fold purpose. It convinced Do-ki to work with the prosecutor and the cops by extension. He didn't have much of a choice quite frankly and circumstances forced his hand. It also convinced Director Jang that his project to "reform" the criminals and lock them up in his own private dungeon was wrong-headed and that they should probably close up shop because of the escalation of violence that they experienced. The entire team almost died in some fashion. I'm sure the PD intends for this event to be some kind of wake-up call for the team who has been complacently dabbling with vigilantism uneasily on the wild side. Plus the criminals were on the loose and Do-ki could only be in so many places at one time. The team took quite a beating being totally unprepared and underestimating the threat completely. All of this happened very quickly, within a couple of days. I'm sure the entire shift is for the team to be forced to work with Ha-na anyway. That was always on the cards. It's also a way for them to go legit if they choose to in terms of cooperating with the prosecutor's office via Ha-na. This is the compromised position that the PD was in all probability gunning for right from the beginning. The system is broken but as long as there are people in the system that care enough, some kind of collaboration is possible. All of this was set up a long time ago. It was always in the background but yes, I suppose the execution might not have been to everyone's satisfaction.
  14. I think the show is getting more interesting now that Sun-hwa is catching on to what's going on and she's inadvertently developed some kind of superpower from the fact that she's able to resist the call of the dark hole. Episode 8 felt to me like an important turning point from the relentless cat and mouse chase of the early episode. There's reprieve for some now hiding at the supermarket. The selection of survivors is interesting. Why does the tentacled monster let some live and others die? As Dong-rim points out astutely, the mysterious entity is far more powerful than the piddly human who are mere ants in its eyes. This is the ongoing question of the story. No doubt that the voice is fascinated with Sun-hwa's ability to never quite cross the line. The explanation seems to be that she has people rooting for her and pulling her from the brink. It's not her will alone but encouragement and the individual's will combined. Plus she's far too busy generally trying to save lives to think about her own issues. My biggest complaint is still that Lee Joon-hyuk has so little screen time, relegated to skulking around corridors and saving the odd person here and there. That said, it is his character Tae Han that gets to the supermarket first and helps the other survivors relocate there for a bit of a respite. It's a much needed rest. It's the ideal location for a pit-stop. The other part of the show that's quite good is the development of the death cult headed by the shaman. My personal interest in humanity's natural impulse for religion leaves me fascinated by how this newly formed cult works to the entity's advantage. This extra-terrestrial being seems to be using not just to control survivors but as a game to use their survival instincts against them to wreak more carnage without him lifting a finger. Divide and conquer, I believe, is the modus operandi. He is breaking them internally as seen in the case of the security guard so that they are rendered incapable of revolt. They become irrelevant in whatever plans he has. Or it could be that he's having a good o'l time watching these earthlings floundering and being foolish. Religion can be a tool for much evil if it's function is primarily about control rather than human flourishing. This show is as much about evil as it is about the exploitation of human weakness. Evil first and foremost resides in the human heart and given the right opportunities it can be a catalyst for horrifying outcomes. However, as seen in Sun-hwa's case, it can be restrained with the right influences although one sees in the case of the serial killer, that there can be a point of no return. The lack of a definitive answer to evil makes sense because there are no easy human answers.
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